Born: May 2, 1952
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Christine Jane Baranski (born May 2, 1952) is an American stage actress, singer and producer. She won Tony Awards for her work in the original Broadway productions of The Real Thing in 1984 and Rumors in 1989, both for Best Featured Actress in a Play. For her television work, she is a 15-time Emmy nominee, winning once in 1995 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Maryanne Thorpe in the sitcom Cybill (1995-98). She has also received critical acclaim for her performance as Diane Lockhart in the legal drama The Good Wife and its subsequent spinoff The Good Fight.
Baranski's other Broadway credits include her debut in Hide and Seek (1980), Hurlyburly (1984), The House of Blue Leaves (1986) and Boeing Boeing (2008). A 15-time Emmy Award nominee, her other television work includes her portrayals of Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife and the spin-off series The Good Fight, and Dr. Beverly Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory. Her film roles include 9½ Weeks (1986), Legal Eagles (1986), Reversal of Fortune (1990), Addams Family Values (1993), Jeffrey (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Bulworth (1998), Cruel Intentions (1999), Bowfinger (1999), Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Chicago (2002), Mamma Mia! (2008), Into the Woods (2014), Trolls (2016), and A Bad Moms Christmas (2017).
Baranski was born in Cheektowaga, Buffalo, New York, the daughter of Virginia (née Mazurowski) and Lucien Baranski, who edited a Polish-language newspaper. She is of Polish descent, and her grandparents were actors in the Polish theater. Baranski attended high school at the Villa Maria Academy in Cheektowaga. She then studied at New York City's Juilliard School (Drama Division Group 3: 1970-1974) where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974.
Baranski made her Off-Broadway debut in Coming Attractions at Playwrights Horizons in 1980, and has appeared in several Off Broadway productions at the Manhattan Theatre Club, starting with Sally and Marsha in 1982.
Baranski made her Broadway debut in Hide & Seek in 1980. For her next Broadway performance, in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, she won the 1984 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Play. Other Broadway credits include: Hurlyburly, The House of Blue Leaves, Rumors (for which she won her second Tony), Regrets Only, Nick & Nora, and the Encores! concert staging of Follies.
At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Baranski starred as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd in 2002 (for which she won the 2003 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical) and as the title character in Mame in 2006.
In her first Broadway production since 1991, she was featured as the maid Berthe in the 2008 revival of Boeing Boeing. The show garnered two Tony Awards, one for Best Revival of a Play and the other for Best Actor (Mark Rylance). The original cast was Bradley Whitford (Bernard), Kathryn Hahn (Gloria), Christine Baranski (Berthe), Gina Gershon (Gabriella), and Mary McCormack (Gretchen). The show closed on January 4, 2009.
She also appeared in a one night only concert benefit performance of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music for Roundabout Theatre Company as Countess Charlotte Malcolm on January 12, 2009. The cast included Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Victor Garber, and Marc Kudisch, among others.
She has won both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards twice.
Baranski has also starred in various roles in films and television. In film, some of her better known roles are as Katherine Archer in The Birdcage, Mary Sunshine in the musical Chicago, Martha May Whovier in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Connie Chasseur in The Ref and as Tanya Chisham-Leigh in the hit musical Mamma Mia! She also played Cinderella's stepmother in the film adaptation of the musical, Into the Woods.
Though widely reported to have worked as a child actress under the name "Chris Charney," Baranski denies ever having appeared on The Brady Bunch, and states that "the first real TV show" that she worked on was Cybill. Earlier, she had appeared in short-term roles on various daytime soap operas, including All My Children and Another World.
Baranski was featured as Cybill Shepherd's sarcastic, hard-drinking friend Maryanne Thorpe in the CBS sitcom Cybill, which ran from 1995 until 1998, during which time she hosted Saturday Night Live and won an Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series along with three other nominations. During this, Baranski portrayed a librarian named Sonja Umdahl in the "Dick and the Single Girl" episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun. A few years later, Baranski received an Emmy nomination for a guest starring role as an intimidating radio psychiatrist on an episode of the NBC series Frasier. She had an uncredited role in the series Now and Again as the voice of Roger's overbearing wife Ruth, who was never seen by viewers.
Baranski later appeared in the 2000-2001 sitcom Welcome to New York and, with John Laroquette, in the 2003-2004 NBC sitcom Happy Family. She co-starred with Bernadette Peters in a pilot for an ABC sitcom, Adopted, in 2005, which was not picked up. She also played Faith Clancy, the mother of Jim Clancy in Ghost Whisperer. Around the same time, Baranski began guest-starring in The Big Bang Theory as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, a dispassionate psychiatrst and neuroscientist and mother of one of the protagonists, Leonard Hofstadter. She first appeared in the second-season episode "The Maternal Capacitance", for which she received an Emmy nomination. Due to the popularity of her first appearance, Baranski returned in the third season for the Christmas episode "The Maternal Congruence", receiving another Emmy nomination. As of March 2017, she has appeared in nine more episodes.
From 2009 to 2016, she played the role of Diane Lockhart, a top litigator and senior partner of a Chicago law firm on the CBS series The Good Wife. She has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for the first six seasons of the series, in the years 2010 through 2015. Besides her work on The Good Wife and the aforementioned guest appearances on The Big Bang Theory, her other recent appearances include Ugly Betty in 2009 as Victoria Hartley, the haughty mother of Betty's new boyfriend.
She appears in a spinoff of The Good Wife, titled The Good Fight, which began airing on CBS and then CBS All Access starting in February 2017. Her character, Diane Lockhart, joins another law firm after being forced to return to work.
Baranski was married to actor Matthew Cowles from October 1983 until his death on May 22, 2014. They have two daughters, Isabel (born 1984) and Lily (born 1987). One of her daughters attended law school, passed the New York bar exam, and worked in the Brooklyn district attorney's office during the run of The Good Wife.
|1982||Soup for One||Blonde in Bar|
|1986||Legal Eagles||Carol Freeman|
|1987||Pick-up Artist, TheThe Pick-up Artist||Harriet|
|1990||Reversal of Fortune||Andrea Reynolds|
|1993||Night We Never Met, TheThe Night We Never Met||Lucy|
|1993||Life with Mikey||Carol|
|1993||Addams Family Values||Becky Martin-Granger|
|1994||Ref, TheThe Ref||Connie Chasseur|
|1994||Getting In||Mrs. Margaret "Maggie" Higgs|
|1994||War, TheThe War||Miss Strapford|
|1995||New Jersey Drive||Prosecutor|
|1995||Jeffrey||Ann Marwood Bartle|
|1996||Birdcage, TheThe Birdcage||Katherine Archer|
|1998||Odd Couple II, TheThe Odd Couple II||Thelma|
|1999||Cruel Intentions||Bunny Caldwell|
|2000||Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas||Martha May Whovier|
|2003||Marci X||Mary Ellen Spinkle|
|2004||Welcome to Mooseport||Charlotte Cole|
|2005||Scooby Doo! in Where's My Mummy?||Amelia Von Butch (voice)|
|2006||Falling for Grace||Bree|
|2006||Relative Strangers||Arleen Clayton|
|2008||Mamma Mia!||Tanya Chesham-Leigh|
|2010||Bounty Hunter, TheThe Bounty Hunter||Kitty Hurley|
|2012||Foodfight!||Hedda Shopper (voice)|
|2014||Into The Woods||Cinderella's Stepmother|
|2016||Miss Sloane||Evelyn Sumner|
|2017||A Bad Moms Christmas||Ruth|
|2018||Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again||Tanya Chesham-Leigh||Post-Production|
|1977||Busting Loose||Debbie||Episode: "The Decision: Part 1"|
|1980||Playing for Time||Olga||TV movie|
|1982||Midsummer Night's Dream, AA Midsummer Night's Dream||Helena||TV movie|
|1982||Another World||Beverly Tucker||Unknown episodes|
|1984||All My Children||Jewel Maniscalo||Unknown episodes|
|1985||Big Shots in America||Cara||TV movie|
|1985||Equalizer, TheThe Equalizer||Victoria Baines||Episode: "Mama's Boy"|
|1987||House of Blue Leaves, TheThe House of Blue Leaves||Bunny Flingus||TV movie|
|1988||The Thorns||Polly||Episode: "The Maid"|
|1991||Law & Order||Katherine Masucci Beigel||Episodes: "The Torrents of Greed Parts 1 & 2"|
|1992||Screenplay||Blair Bennett||Episode: "Buying a Landslide"|
|1993||To Dance with the White Dog||Kate||TV movie|
|1994||Law & Order||Rose Siegal||Episode: "Nurture"|
|1995-98||Cybill||Maryanne Thorpe||87 episodes|
|1996||Saturday Night Live||Herself (host)||Episode: "Christine Baranski/The Cure"|
|1997||3rd Rock from the Sun||Sonja Umdahl||Episode: "Dick and the Single Girl"|
|1999||Now and Again||Ruth Bender (voice)||Episode: "Origins"; uncredited|
|1999||Frasier||Dr. Nora Fairchild||Episode: "Dr. Nora"|
|2000-01||Welcome to New York||Marsha Bickner||13 episodes|
|2001||Citizen Baines||Glenn Ferguson Baines Welch||Episode: "Three Days in November"|
|2002||Presidio Med||Dr. Terry Howland||Episodes: "Pick Your Battles", "Best of Enemies"|
|2003||Eloise at the Plaza||Prunella Stickler||TV movie|
|2003||Eloise at Christmastime||Prunella Stickler||TV movie|
|2003-04||Happy Family||Annie Brennan||22 episodes|
|2005||Recipe for a Perfect Christmas||Lee Bellmont||TV movie|
|2005||Adopted||Judy Rabinowitz||TV movie|
|2005||In the Game||TV pilot|
|2005||Ghost Whisperer||Faith Clancy||Episodes: "Voices", "The Crossing"|
|2006||American Dad!||Homeless Woman (voice)||Episode: "Failure Is Not a Factory-installed Option"|
|2009||Ugly Betty||Victoria Hartley||3 episodes|
|2009||Psych||Alice Clayton||Episode: "He Dead"|
|2009-17||Big Bang Theory, TheThe Big Bang Theory||Dr. Beverly Hofstadter||12 episodes|
|2009-16||Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife||Diane Lockhart||156 episodes|
|2011||Who Is Simon Miller?||Amanda||TV movie|
|2011||Ugly Americans||Grimes' mummy (voice)||Episode: "Mummy Dearest"|
|2015||BoJack Horseman||Amanda Hannity (voice)||Episode: "Hank After Dark"|
|2013||Family Guy||Herself (voice)||Episode: "Call Girl"|
|2017||Regular Show||Guardian (voice)||Episode: "A Regular Epic Final Battle"|
|2017-present||The Good Fight||Diane Lockhart||10 episodes|
|2017||Michael Jackson's Halloween||Mrs. Grau (voice)||TV special|
|2013||Skylanders: Swap Force||Kaos' Mother|
|2017||Steven Universe: Save the Light||Hessonite|